December 2nd, 2009 | News, University

Police seek DNA from Clark’s fiancée

Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September.
Raymond Clark III seen exiting the New Haven Superior Court in September. Photo by Vivian Yee.

Update: 10:24 p.m. Investigators for the murder of Annie Le GRD ’13 are now seeking a DNA sample from the fiancée of suspect Raymond Clark III, her attorney said Wednesday night.

The attorney, Robert Berke, said that although he was told in September that his client, Jennifer Hromadka, was not a suspect, it is unclear why authorities now want the DNA. He added that investigators wanted to interview Hromadka shortly after Le’s murder but ultimately could not. He declined further comment.

It could not be immediately determined Wednesday night whether the authorities will file a search warrant for the DNA sample.

Court documents released today show that police found blood stains in Clark’s apartment. The 80 pages of search and seizure warrants track police progress as they investigated Le’s Sept. 8 disappearance, detailing their search of 10 Amistad St., the Yale laboratory building where police found Le’s body, as well as Clark’s Middletown, Conn., apartment and his car.

According to the documents, police also gathered evidence even after Clark’s Sept. 17 arrest, seizing his cell phone records. Despite the documents’ new revelations, a motive remains unclear.

In addition to finding blood stains “in plain view” on the kitchen floor in Clark’s apartment, police discovered a pair of bloody white Converse sneakers, stained hospital scrubs and a dark garbage bag in Clark’s red 2000 Ford Mustang , according to the warrants.

In Clark’s apartment, police seized numerous items of clothing and a bait box containing fishing supplies. The warrants offer no explanation for the seizure of the bait box, though police also found a Walmart receipt for fishing supplies in Clark’s Ford and a backpack with more fishing supplies in 10 Amistad.

Le’s e-mail address was found inside a locker, labeled “RAY,” in the basement of 10 Amistad, the documents show. According to one warrant, when Le’s body was discovered in the basement on Sept. 13, the corpse was covered in pieces of insulation arranged to conceal it.

The warrants also trace Clark’s activity after he left 10 Amistad just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 8. After sitting briefly at a table on the corner of Congress Avenue and Cedar Street, Clark entered the nearby Cappuccino’s & More café and left a few minutes later with two women — his fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, also a Yale lab technician, and an unidentified woman. The three left for Clark’s apartment in a 1999 red Ford Taurus, with the unknown woman driving, Clark in the passenger seat and Hromadka in the back. Police later searched the Taurus and found bloodstained evidence.

FBI agents also subpoenaed cell phone records from Clark’s AT&T Blackberry as early as Sept. 12, before Le’s body was found, the warrants show. Police seized the phone at the beginning of October.

From Sept. 20 to 23, night sanitation workers at 10 Amistad found rags, tweezers, scissors and a screwdriver, among other items, deliberately placed in a clogged drain pipe, according to the documents.

Though video surveillance showed Clark wearing a black jacket with white stripes, a black T-shirt and jeans on the day of Le’s disappearance, police were unable to find any of these items of clothing.

On Nov. 6, New Haven Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano ordered the release of court documents relating to the case, including the search and seizure warrants unsealed today. Although the arrest warrants were released Nov. 13, state prosecutors blocked the release of the search warrants until today.

After Le’s body was found hidden behind a wall in the basement of the Yale research building at 10 Amistad St., Clark was arrested Sept. 17 and charged with her murder.

Clark is being held at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Conn., on $3 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea, and is due back in court Dec. 21.